The Chinese Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog has launched a training session for government servants tasked with hunting down and bringing to justice corrupt officials who are at large overseas.
More than 130 officials from agencies such as discipline inspection, public security, procuratorate and courts are taking part in a four-day training session which began in Beijing on Tuesday, according to Ming Pao Daily.
China launched “Operation Fox Hunt” in 2014 to snare officials and businessmen who have fled abroad with ill-gotten gains.
Over the past half year, a total of 700 fugitives suspected of economic crimes were repatriated to China, and US$5 billion of embezzled funds had been seized, the report said.
Wang Qishan, chief of the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, is said to be planning to visit the United States soon to hold talks with US officials on the issue of fugitives.
Xu Jinhui, director of the anti-corruption department under the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, said a few days ago that Beijing has provided a “priority list” to Washington of wanted officials.
The list is said to contain about 150 names.
Jen Psaki, a US State Department spokeswoman, said on Wednesday that Washington has received the name list, and that it hopes that China will provide further evidence and intelligence so that US investigators can pursue the matter.
China doesn’t have an extradition agreement with the US, but Washington could still help repatriate suspects by using the immigration laws, Psaki said.
Andrew Wedeman, a professor at Georgia State University, however believes that in the absence of an extradition pact, handing over of corrupt officials will not be easy.
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